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PapilioMemnon

The Role of the Holy Ghost

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(Emphasis added)

Holy Ghost - LDS.org - Topic Definition - Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.

Roles of the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost works in perfect unity with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, fulfilling several roles to help us live righteously and receive the blessings of the gospel.

He "witnesses of the Father and the Son" (2 Nephi 31:18) and reveals and teaches "the truth of all things" (Moroni 10:5). We can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to our spirit carries far more certainty than any communication we can receive through our natural senses.

As we strive to stay on the path that leads to eternal life, the Holy Ghost can guide us in our decisions and protect us from physical and spiritual danger.

Through Him, we can receive gifts of the Spirit for our benefit and for the benefit of those we love and serve (see D&C 46:9–11).

He is the Comforter (John 14:26). As the soothing voice of a loving parent can quiet a crying child, the whisperings of the Spirit can calm our fears, hush the nagging worries of our life, and comfort us when we grieve. The Holy Ghost can fill us "with hope and perfect love" and "teach [us] the peaceable things of the kingdom" (Moroni 8:26; D&C 36:2).

Through His power, we are sanctified as we repent, receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, and remain true to our covenants (see Mosiah 5:1–6; 3 Nephi 27:20; Moses 6:64–68).

He is the Holy Spirit of Promise (see Ephesians 1:13; D&C 132:7, 18–19, 26). In this capacity, He confirms that the priesthood ordinances we have received and the covenants we have made are acceptable to God. This approval depends on our continued faithfulness.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

All honest seekers of the truth can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, leading them to Jesus Christ and His gospel. However, the fulness of the blessings given through the Holy Ghost are available only to those who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and remain worthy.

After a person is baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders lay their hands on the person's head and, in a sacred priesthood ordinance, confirm him or her a member of the Church. As part of this ordinance, called confirmation, the person is given the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is different from the influence of the Holy Ghost. Before baptism, a person can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time and through that influence can receive a testimony of the truth. After receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, a person has the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead if he or she keeps the commandments.

See also Baptism; Godhead; Laying On of Hands; Revelation; Spiritual Gifts

—See True to the Faith (2004), 81–84

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Matthew 3:11; John 15:26; 16:13; Acts 2:38; 8:12–17; 19:1–6; 1 Corinthians 2:9–14; 12:3; Galatians 5:22–23; 1 Nephi 10:17–19; 2 Nephi 31:17; D&C 8:2–3; 39:20–24; 68:25–28; 121:46; Articles of Faith 1:4

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"We . . . must be careful not to hinder, disregard, or quench the

Spirit in our lives.

"The beckoning invitations of the world

attempt to divert our attention from the strait and narrow path. The

adversary labors to dull our sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit,

whether we are teenagers, young adults, or mature men and women. The role

of the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, is essential in every season of our mortal

lives."

(Keith K. Hilbig, "Quench Not the Spirit Which Quickens the Inner Man," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 37)

The Holy Ghost testifies of truths, warns us of dangers (Subtle or not), prompts us to do or stop something, etc. We can recognize its promptings through our feelings.

In Galations, Paul taught us:

Gal. 5: 22 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

I feel that the ability to discern the voice of the Lord, through the Holy Ghost one of the most important things we need to learn if we are to be guided by truth and lead through the right path to choose the right. Learning to discern if something is good/right or not, and if it's from God, we must learn to discern the feelings it induces, and it takes practice; if the fruits are good (As mentioned above), we can know it is of God.

I had the opportunity of asking Elder R.G. Scott, and he told me the above. I just wanted to share it!

Edited by PapilioMemnon
To add more info about the Holy Ghost

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I learned one night while studying the scriptures what the purpose of the Holy Ghost is. I learned this way:

In the pre-mortal existence we needed 2 things in order to become like our Father in Heaven. We needed 1) a body of flesh and bones and 2) the knowledge of good and evil.

Well, we don't need revelation to figure out we have a body of flesh and bones. But, this little piece of revelation, greatly misundertstood by most religions, tells us what happened after we "ate of the tree" of the knowledge of good and evil:

Genesis 3:

22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil...

Now that we had a physical body and the knowledge we needed, we became like Father in Heaven.

So, in the pre-mortal existence, knowing we needed these 2 things, Heavenly Father called and ordained 2 of His greatest children to assist Him in bringing this to pass. Jehova was to assist in all things pertaining to the first, and the Holy Ghost (His name in unknown to us) was called and chosen to help in all things concerning the second. If you think about this and pray about it, you will see that scripture is consistent with these 2 roles. It is also consistent with the way the Priesthood is organized.

The key is that it wasn't enough that we knew the difference between good and evil, but that we choose good over evil. Hence, this is the Holy Ghost's assignment, to help us choose good over evil.

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"The beckoning invitations of the world

attempt to divert our attention from the strait and narrow path.

One thing I thought I would add to this, is the distinction between STRAIT and STRAIGHT.

For example the Strait of Hormuz is not strait, it curves. This distinction is an important difference. I believe much of the paths in our lives do indeed curve requiring navigation and inspiration from the Holy Ghost.

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Word Flood!

I can pick up what you are laying down! And it is wisdom.

I sometimes I see people panic when they themselves encounter curve balls or they observe others as they twist and turn as if to imply that somehow the Spirit is offended and departs in some way.

Not saying this very well..... do you get my drift? Being spiritual and following the spirit doesn't always mean we have a halo floating perfectly above our heads.

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This conversation made me think of the 1st verse of the Hymn "Be Still My Soul".

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;

With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.

Leave to thy God to order and provide;

In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend

Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end. (Be Still My Soul)

Regards,

Vanhin

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More and more I realize that it is impossible to pidgeon hole LDS theology! :-) When you speak of authority you sound almost Catholic (apostolic succession, church leadership being sustained, etc.) When you speak of baptism you sound Church of Christ (essential to salvation, but by full-immersion). When discussing agency, you sound Methodist. When discussing the WoW, you sound Adventist. And now...in discussing the Holy Ghost, I hear traces of the Charismatics!

Learning to "hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches," and to us individually might well be the most important spiritual discipline any Christian can develop.

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One thing I thought I would add to this, is the distinction between STRAIT and STRAIGHT.

For example the Strait of Hormuz is not strait, it curves. This distinction is an important difference. I believe much of the paths in our lives do indeed curve requiring navigation and inspiration from the Holy Ghost.

Thanks for the insight!

I believe the use of the word "strait,'' implied "narrow, strict," (Not broad), and it didn't imply absence of curves/turns, as in straight, (a straight line).

I believe he meant the ways of the Lord are strict, and people can't bend/turn/twist/curve them to fit them. However, throught the twists/turns/changes of life, the Spirit does stay with us to help us remain on the narrow path.

But I really like the insight in the distinction of the 2 words! Thanks! :)

p.s.: sorry, I still haven't mastered prepositions and some other things, and will misuse them a lot! Be patient as you read my posts :P

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Word Flood!

I can pick up what you are laying down! And it is wisdom.

I sometimes I see people panic when they themselves encounter curve balls or they observe others as they twist and turn as if to imply that somehow the Spirit is offended and departs in some way.

Not saying this very well..... do you get my drift? Being spiritual and following the spirit doesn't always mean we have a halo floating perfectly above our heads.

Misshalfway,

I actually thought about this in during my own test with the Gospel. I found myself a divorced dad, and even though I was following the spirit, others thought I was outside the path. Eventually I understood that all of our lives interact with other people, events, and even natural disasters. Therefore the path, is not what we always think it is, or should be. The important thing is that we are dedicated to the non-deviating path that the Lord has given us, and wants us to follow.

There are other interpretations for sure. Like all Gospel concepts, this one is deep. Have fun swimming! :roll:

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More and more I realize that it is impossible to pidgeon hole LDS theology! :-) When you speak of authority you sound almost Catholic (apostolic succession, church leadership being sustained, etc.) When you speak of baptism you sound Church of Christ (essential to salvation, but by full-immersion). When discussing agency, you sound Methodist. When discussing the WoW, you sound Adventist. And now...in discussing the Holy Ghost, I hear traces of the Charismatics!

Learning to "hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches," and to us individually might well be the most important spiritual discipline any Christian can develop.

Thats right brother! :) If I could be as bold as to claim, that our theology represents the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

There is an old illustration used by missionaries sometimes where they build a church out of dixie cups. The cups each has written on them principles of the gospel that were taught by the prophets and apostles anciently. One of the cups was the "chief cornerstone" and had written on it Jesus Christ. The other cups had words like "baptism", "priesthood", "gift of the Holy Ghost", "revelation", and so forth. The purpose was to illustrate the apostasy and the restoration.

They would explain as they built the church, that Jesus Christ himself established his Church anciently, and it contained all the essential principles and ordinances of the gospel, including priesthood and the necessary keys. Then when they introduced the apostasy, they would knock the church down and the dixie cups would scatter all over the place. They would remove the cups that had written on them "priesthood keys" and "revelation" from the table.

They explained further that during the apostasy, not all truth was lost, and many people were devout Christians and tried to do what was right. Some people believed strongly in baptism by immersion, for example, and built up churches based on that principle, others would build up churches based on the gifts of the Spirit, or the priesthood, and so forth. They would pair the cups up to illustrate the many denominations that formed as people tried to interpret the things of God the best that they could, without having the priesthood keys and revelation.

They, as you can imagine by now, they introduced the restoration, and the prophet Joseph Smith. As they talked about the things that were restored because of revelation and the priesthood keys, they rebuilt the church with all the dixie cups.

The Church of Jesus Christ has been restored, including the priesthood, with it's authority to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost once again, by the laying on of hands after authorized baptism. Through modern revelation, we have received many truths concerning the kingdom of God, much of wich was lost centuries earlier because of apostasy.

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. (AoF 1:9)

Anyway, your observation made me think of that.

Sincerely,

Vanhin

Edited by Vanhin

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Hearing the Still, Small Voice

---------------------------------------------------

"Each of us should be careful that the current flood of information

does not occupy our time so completely that we cannot focus on and hear and

heed the still, small voice that is available to guide each of us with our

own challenges today."

Topics: Holy Ghost, personal revelation

(Dallin H. Oaks "Focus and Priorities," Ensign, May 2001, 82)

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The Holy Ghost - LDS.org - Ensign Article - The Holy Ghost

President Marion G. Romney

Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Marion G. Romney, “The Holy Ghost,” Ensign, May 1974, 90

My beloved brothers and sisters, wherever you are and whoever you are, I invite you to join in the request made in the opening prayer that the Spirit of the Lord will be with us during this meeting. Because of the subject I have chosen to speak about, it must be with us while I speak or my words will be but an exercise in futility.

The first Article of Faith [A of F 1:1] of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reads: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”

A year ago we spoke of God, the Eternal Father. Six months later our theme was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Today we shall call attention to some divinely revealed truths concerning the Holy Ghost.

The scriptures all teach about the Holy Ghost. They frequently refer to him as the Comforter, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, or the Spirit of the Lord.

According to these scriptures the Holy Ghost is a person.

The Father,” said the Prophet Joseph Smith, “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. …” (D&C 130:22.)

Jesus referred to the Holy Ghost as a male person. Speaking to his disciples, he said:

“… It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7. Italics added.)

And further,

“… when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13–14. Italics added.)

That the [Holy Ghost] is capable of manifesting Himself in the form and figure of man,” wrote Dr. James E. Talmage, “is indicated by the wonderful interview between the Spirit and Nephi, in which He revealed Himself to the prophet, questioned him concerning his desires and belief, instructed him in the things of God, speaking face to face with the man. ‘I spake unto him,’ says Nephi, ‘as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.’ ” (Discourses on the Holy Ghost, comp. N. B. Lundwall, Bookcraft, Inc., 1959, p. 13.)

“… there are three,” says John the Beloved, “that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 Jn. 5:7), signifying, of course, they are one in understanding and purpose. Of them the Prophet Joseph said:

“… these three are one; or, in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things; by whom all things were created and made … and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one.” (Quoted in Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., Bookcraft, Inc., 1966, p. 320.)

As a member of the Godhead, and being one with the Father and the Son, the Holy Ghost is, as are the Father and the Son, omniscient. He comprehends all truth having a “knowledge of [all] things.” (D&C 93:24.)

As the light of Christ “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space” (D&C 88:12), so the influence, power, and gifts of the Holy Ghost may be manifest everywhere at the same time.

Statements in the scriptures such as “the Holy Ghost fell on [him]” (Acts 11:15), “filled with the Holy Ghost” (Luke 1:15), “the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38), “receive … the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22), baptized by “fire and the Holy Ghost” (D&C 20:41) do not always refer to his person, but to his power, influence, and gifts.

One of the most important functions of the Holy Ghost is to testify of the Father and the Son. In the very day that the angel told Adam that the sacrifice he was offering was “a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, … the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam” testifying to him of the Father and the Son. (Moses 5:7, 9. Italics added.)

At the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Ghost bore witness to his divinity by “descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.” (Matt. 3:16.)

Every person who knows or has ever known that Jesus is the Christ has received that witness from the Holy Ghost.

“Wherefore I give you to understand,” wrote Paul to the Corinthians, “that no man speaking by the Spirit of God … can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Cor. 12:3.)

Jesus implied this when responding to Peter’s declaration, “… Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He said:

“… Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 16:16–17.)

The Holy Ghost not only bears witness to the divinity of the Father and the Son; he also bears witness to truth, particularly to gospel truths.

“… when ye shall read these things [speaking of the gospel truths contained in the Book of Mormon], … I would exhort you,” wrote Moroni, “that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Moro. 10:3–4.)

And then he adds this great promise:

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moro. 10:5.)

Hundreds and thousands of people have accepted and acted upon this challenge and thereafter borne witness, by the power of the Holy Ghost, to its truth.

The Holy Ghost is not only a witness to the truth; he is also a great revealer and teacher of truth.

If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15), said the Savior to his disciples.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, … which is the Holy Ghost, … [and] he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:16, 26. Italics added.)

“And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, … take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

“For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (Luke 12:11–12. Italics added.)

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God,” wrote Paul to the Corinthians, “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Cor. 2:12–13. Italics added.)

To the Holy Ghost we are indebted for our scriptures. Not only did he reveal the gospel truths they contain; he it was who gave the prophets the spirit of prophecy.

“… no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation”, said Peter.

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet. 1:20–21.)

The record says that in the very beginning “the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, …

“[And he] blessed God and was filled [with the Holy Ghost], and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, …” (Moses 5:9–10.)

So it has ever been. Luke notes that Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, “was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied, …” (Luke 1:67.)

The promise of the Lord in this last dispensation that “God shall give unto you knowledge … by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 121:26) poses the question as to the manner in which one may receive this unspeakable gift.

The prescribed manner is by the laying on of hands following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance from sin, and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.

This was the way the Holy Ghost was bestowed in the apostolic church.

“… when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

“(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

“Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:14–17.)

When Paul came to Ephesus and found certain disciples there, “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

“And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

“Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:2–6.)

In prescribing the duties of elders in his latter-day church, the Lord said, among other things, that they were “to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures.” (D&C 20:41.)

In calling several of the brethren to do missionary service, he said:

“… I give unto you a commandment that ye go among this people, and say unto them, like unto mine apostle of old, whose name was Peter:

“Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus. …

“Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the holy commandment, for the remission of sins;

“And whoso doeth this shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of the hands of the elders of the church.” (D&C 49:11–14.)

The gift of the Holy Ghost is an endowment which gives one the right to enjoy the enlightenment, companionship, and guidance of the Spirit and the influence of the Holy Spirit as long as he complies with the commandments of God.

The importance of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is beyond expression. It is the baptism of fire referred to by John. (See Luke 3:16.) It is the “spirit” birth of which Jesus spoke to Nicodemus:

“… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5.)

Receiving the Holy Ghost is the therapy which effects forgiveness and heals the sin-sick soul.

The hallmark of the church of Christ, distinguishing it from all other churches and forms of worship, has ever been the receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the membership of the Church.

This is what distinguishes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from all other organizations.

Following an interview with President Van Buren, the Prophet Joseph Smith and Elias Higbee wrote in 1839 from Washington, D.C., a letter to Hyrum Smith, in which they said:

“In our interview with the President, he interrogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost. …” (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 42.)

And so it is, because the Holy Ghost is a revelator. The gift of the Holy Ghost “is the spirit of revelation; … [it] is,” said the Lord, “the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.” (D&C 8:3.)

It is the witness given by the Holy Ghost to the individual members of the Church that God lives; that Jesus Christ his son, is our Savior and Redeemer; that his gospel is the plan of salvation and the way to eternal life; and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his church, possessing authority to preach the gospel and administer the saving ordinances thereof, which give vitality, strength, and power to the Church.

I bear to you, my brothers and sisters and friends, whoever you are and wherever you are, my personal witness to the truth of all these things to which I have called your attention.

The Holy Ghost has revealed to me that they are true. By his power I know that God lives; that we are his offspring; that Christ lives; that his gospel is true; that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his church; that President Spencer W. Kimball is a prophet called by the Lord to preside over his church; that the Holy Ghost is a revealer of and a witness to these things; and that by his power each of us may, as Moroni declared, “know the truth of all things.” (Moro. 10:5.)

I humbly and sincerely invite all of you to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, to repent and be baptized in his name, and receive the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of the hands of the elders of His Church; and I invite you to thereafter follow his guidance.

All who do this shall be prepared to meet the Savior when he comes, for he has said:

“… at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.

“For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.

“And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.

“For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.” (D&C 45:56–59.)

That we may all, through following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, be prepared to “abide” that great day, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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The Holy Ghost - LDS.org - Ensign Article - The Holy Ghost

President Marion G. Romney

Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Marion G. Romney, “The Holy Ghost,” Ensign, May 1974, 90

My beloved brothers and sisters, wherever you are and whoever you are, I invite you to join in the request made in the opening prayer that the Spirit of the Lord will be with us during this meeting. Because of the subject I have chosen to speak about, it must be with us while I speak or my words will be but an exercise in futility.

The first Article of Faith [A of F 1:1] of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reads: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”

A year ago we spoke of God, the Eternal Father. Six months later our theme was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Today we shall call attention to some divinely revealed truths concerning the Holy Ghost.

The scriptures all teach about the Holy Ghost. They frequently refer to him as the Comforter, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, or the Spirit of the Lord.

According to these scriptures the Holy Ghost is a person.

The Father,” said the Prophet Joseph Smith, “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. …” (D&C 130:22.)

Jesus referred to the Holy Ghost as a male person. Speaking to his disciples, he said:

“… It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7. Italics added.)

And further,

“… when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13–14. Italics added.)

That the [Holy Ghost] is capable of manifesting Himself in the form and figure of man,” wrote Dr. James E. Talmage, “is indicated by the wonderful interview between the Spirit and Nephi, in which He revealed Himself to the prophet, questioned him concerning his desires and belief, instructed him in the things of God, speaking face to face with the man. ‘I spake unto him,’ says Nephi, ‘as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.’ ” (Discourses on the Holy Ghost, comp. N. B. Lundwall, Bookcraft, Inc., 1959, p. 13.)

“… there are three,” says John the Beloved, “that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 Jn. 5:7), signifying, of course, they are one in understanding and purpose. Of them the Prophet Joseph said:

“… these three are one; or, in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things; by whom all things were created and made … and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one.” (Quoted in Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., Bookcraft, Inc., 1966, p. 320.)

As a member of the Godhead, and being one with the Father and the Son, the Holy Ghost is, as are the Father and the Son, omniscient. He comprehends all truth having a “knowledge of [all] things.” (D&C 93:24.)

As the light of Christ “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space” (D&C 88:12), so the influence, power, and gifts of the Holy Ghost may be manifest everywhere at the same time.

Statements in the scriptures such as “the Holy Ghost fell on [him]” (Acts 11:15), “filled with the Holy Ghost” (Luke 1:15), “the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38), “receive … the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22), baptized by “fire and the Holy Ghost” (D&C 20:41) do not always refer to his person, but to his power, influence, and gifts.

One of the most important functions of the Holy Ghost is to testify of the Father and the Son. In the very day that the angel told Adam that the sacrifice he was offering was “a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, … the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam” testifying to him of the Father and the Son. (Moses 5:7, 9. Italics added.)

At the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Ghost bore witness to his divinity by “descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.” (Matt. 3:16.)

Every person who knows or has ever known that Jesus is the Christ has received that witness from the Holy Ghost.

“Wherefore I give you to understand,” wrote Paul to the Corinthians, “that no man speaking by the Spirit of God … can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Cor. 12:3.)

Jesus implied this when responding to Peter’s declaration, “… Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He said:

“… Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 16:16–17.)

The Holy Ghost not only bears witness to the divinity of the Father and the Son; he also bears witness to truth, particularly to gospel truths.

“… when ye shall read these things [speaking of the gospel truths contained in the Book of Mormon], … I would exhort you,” wrote Moroni, “that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Moro. 10:3–4.)

And then he adds this great promise:

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moro. 10:5.)

Hundreds and thousands of people have accepted and acted upon this challenge and thereafter borne witness, by the power of the Holy Ghost, to its truth.

The Holy Ghost is not only a witness to the truth; he is also a great revealer and teacher of truth.

If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15), said the Savior to his disciples.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, … which is the Holy Ghost, … [and] he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:16, 26. Italics added.)

“And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, … take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

“For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (Luke 12:11–12. Italics added.)

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God,” wrote Paul to the Corinthians, “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Cor. 2:12–13. Italics added.)

To the Holy Ghost we are indebted for our scriptures. Not only did he reveal the gospel truths they contain; he it was who gave the prophets the spirit of prophecy.

“… no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation”, said Peter.

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet. 1:20–21.)

The record says that in the very beginning “the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, …

“[And he] blessed God and was filled [with the Holy Ghost], and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, …” (Moses 5:9–10.)

So it has ever been. Luke notes that Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, “was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied, …” (Luke 1:67.)

The promise of the Lord in this last dispensation that “God shall give unto you knowledge … by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 121:26) poses the question as to the manner in which one may receive this unspeakable gift.

The prescribed manner is by the laying on of hands following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance from sin, and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.

This was the way the Holy Ghost was bestowed in the apostolic church.

“… when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

“(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

“Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:14–17.)

When Paul came to Ephesus and found certain disciples there, “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

“And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

“Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:2–6.)

In prescribing the duties of elders in his latter-day church, the Lord said, among other things, that they were “to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures.” (D&C 20:41.)

In calling several of the brethren to do missionary service, he said:

“… I give unto you a commandment that ye go among this people, and say unto them, like unto mine apostle of old, whose name was Peter:

“Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus. …

“Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the holy commandment, for the remission of sins;

“And whoso doeth this shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of the hands of the elders of the church.” (D&C 49:11–14.)

The gift of the Holy Ghost is an endowment which gives one the right to enjoy the enlightenment, companionship, and guidance of the Spirit and the influence of the Holy Spirit as long as he complies with the commandments of God.

The importance of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is beyond expression. It is the baptism of fire referred to by John. (See Luke 3:16.) It is the “spirit” birth of which Jesus spoke to Nicodemus:

“… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5.)

Receiving the Holy Ghost is the therapy which effects forgiveness and heals the sin-sick soul.

The hallmark of the church of Christ, distinguishing it from all other churches and forms of worship, has ever been the receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the membership of the Church.

This is what distinguishes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from all other organizations.

Following an interview with President Van Buren, the Prophet Joseph Smith and Elias Higbee wrote in 1839 from Washington, D.C., a letter to Hyrum Smith, in which they said:

“In our interview with the President, he interrogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost. …” (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 42.)

And so it is, because the Holy Ghost is a revelator. The gift of the Holy Ghost “is the spirit of revelation; … [it] is,” said the Lord, “the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.” (D&C 8:3.)

It is the witness given by the Holy Ghost to the individual members of the Church that God lives; that Jesus Christ his son, is our Savior and Redeemer; that his gospel is the plan of salvation and the way to eternal life; and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his church, possessing authority to preach the gospel and administer the saving ordinances thereof, which give vitality, strength, and power to the Church.

I bear to you, my brothers and sisters and friends, whoever you are and wherever you are, my personal witness to the truth of all these things to which I have called your attention.

The Holy Ghost has revealed to me that they are true. By his power I know that God lives; that we are his offspring; that Christ lives; that his gospel is true; that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his church; that President Spencer W. Kimball is a prophet called by the Lord to preside over his church; that the Holy Ghost is a revealer of and a witness to these things; and that by his power each of us may, as Moroni declared, “know the truth of all things.” (Moro. 10:5.)

I humbly and sincerely invite all of you to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, to repent and be baptized in his name, and receive the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of the hands of the elders of His Church; and I invite you to thereafter follow his guidance.

All who do this shall be prepared to meet the Savior when he comes, for he has said:

“… at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.

“For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.

“And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.

“For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.” (D&C 45:56–59.)

That we may all, through following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, be prepared to “abide” that great day, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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LDS.org - Ensign Article - Communion with the Holy Spirit

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The Right of Personal Revelation

Latter-day Saints, having received the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, are entitled to personal inspiration in the small events of life as well as when they are confronted with the giant Goliaths of life. If worthy, we are entitled to receive revelations for ourselves, parents for their children, and members of the Church in their callings. But the right of revelation for others does not extend beyond our own stewardship.

David, the youngest son of Jesse, a mere shepherd boy, volunteered to fight the giant Goliath. David and all of the army of Israel were insulted by the humiliating taunts of this formidable giant, but David knew that inspiration had brought him to save Israel. King Saul was so impressed with the faith and determination of this young boy that he appointed him to fight Goliath. Goliath made sport of David’s youth and lack of armament. David responded that he came in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, and that the whole assembly would learn that the Lord does not save by the sword and the spear, “for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam. 17:47). Then David threw a rock from his sling with such force and accuracy that the stone sank deep into the forehead of Goliath. Goliath fell to the earth a dying man, and the Philistines fled in fear.

What has happened to David’s living God? It is the greatest insult to reason to suggest that God, who spoke so freely to the prophets of the Old Testament, now stands mute, uncommunicative, and silent.

We may well ask, “Does God love us less than those led by the ancient prophets? Do we need His guidance and instruction less? Reason suggests that this cannot be. Does He not care? Has He lost His voice? Has He gone on a permanent vacation? Does He sleep?” The unreasonableness of each of these proposals is self-evident.

When the Savior taught in the synagogue at Capernaum, He proclaimed His divinity in no uncertain terms. The Apostle John states:

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

“And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:66–69).

We acknowledge and testify that the same witness of Christ’s divinity as received by Peter is also our sacred knowledge.

Personal revelation comes as a testimony of truth and as guidance in spiritual and temporal matters. Latter-day Saints know that the promptings of the Spirit may be received upon all facets of life, including daily, ongoing decisions. Without seeking the inspiration of the Almighty God, how could anyone think of making an important decision such as “Who is to be my companion?” “What is my work to be?” “Where will I live?” “How will I live?”

Many faithful Latter-day Saints have been warned by the Spirit when they were faced with injury or possible death. Among these was President Wilford Woodruff, who said:

“When I got back to Winter Quarters from the pioneer journey [1847], President [brigham] Young said to me, ‘Brother Woodruff, I want you to take your wife and children and go to Boston and stay there until you can gather every Saint of God in New England and Canada and send them up to Zion.’

“I did as he told me. It took me two years to gather up everybody, and I brought up the rear with a company (there were about one hundred of them). We arrived at Pittsburgh one day at sundown. We did not want to stay there, so I went to the first steamboat that was going to leave. I saw the captain and engaged passage for us on that steamer. I had only just done so when the spirit said to me, and that, too, very strongly, ‘Don’t go aboard that steamer, nor your company.’ Of course, I went and spoke to the captain, and told him I had made up my mind to wait.

“Well, that ship started, and had only got five miles down the river when it took fire, and three hundred persons were burned to death or drowned. If I had not obeyed that spirit, and had gone on that steamer with the rest of the company, you can see what the result would have been” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham [1946], 294–95).

How Is Personal Revelation Received?

Some guidelines and rules are necessary if one is to be the recipient of revelation and inspiration. They include [/b](1) to try honestly and sincerely to keep God’s commandments, (2) to be spiritually attuned as a receiver of a divine message, (3) to ask God in humble, fervent prayer, and (4) to seek answers with unwavering faith.

I testify that inspiration can be the spring for every person’s hope, guidance, and strength. It is one of the magnified treasures of life. It involves coming to the infinite knowledge of God.

How do revelation and inspiration operate?

Each person has a built-in “receiving set” which, when fine-tuned, can be a receiver of divine communication. Said Job, “There is a spirit in man: and … the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8). If needed, it is possible, like Nephi, to be led completely by the Spirit, “not knowing beforehand” what should be done (see 1 Ne. 4:6).

How is inspiration received?

Enos stated, “While I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind” (Enos 1:10). One does not necessarily hear an audible voice. The spirit of revelation comes by divine confirmation. “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart,” says the Lord (D&C 8:2).

How was the voice of the Lord heard by Elijah the Tishbite?

It was not the “strong wind [which] rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks,” nor “after the wind an earthquake,” nor “after the earthquake a fire.” It was “a still small voice” (see 1 Kgs. 19:11–12).

The inner voice of the Spirit has the capacity to whisper through and pierce all things (see D&C 85:6). The scriptures teach, “It was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul” (Hel. 5:30).

Thus the Lord, by revelation, brings inspiration into one’s mind as though a voice were speaking. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Harold B. Lee gave this testimony: “I have a believing heart because of a simple testimony that came when I was a child, I think maybe I was around ten—maybe eleven—years of age. I was with my father out on a farm away from our home, trying to spend the day busying myself until father was ready to go home. Over the fence from our place were some tumbledown sheds which had attracted a curious boy, adventurous as I was. I started to climb through the fence and I heard a voice as clearly as you are hearing mine—‘Don’t go over there!’ calling me by name. I turned to look at father to see if he were talking to me, but he was way up at the other end of the field. There was no person in sight. I realized then, as a child, that there were persons beyond my sight and I had heard a voice. And when I [hear] and read these stories of the Prophet Joseph Smith, I, too, know what it means to hear a voice because I’ve heard from an unseen speaker” (Divine Revelation, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [15 Oct. 1952], 5).

Revelation for the Church

Although every faithful member of the Church is entitled to receive personal revelation, there is only one man upon the earth who receives revelation for the Church. President Wilford Woodruff said, “The Church of God could not live twenty-four hours without revelation” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, 61).

A member has written: “Every day men and women come, by revelation, to understand the basic truth that God has restored his gospel and church.

“Every day leaders of the Church are led by revelation to conduct the affairs of the Church, general and local, throughout the world.

“Every day Latter-day Saint missionaries are impressed by the spirit of revelation to bear witness, to know what to say, to know what to do, and to teach by the spirit of revelation.

“Every day the mind and will of the Lord as revealed in the standard works of the Church are illuminated in the minds of the Latter-day Saints by the spirit of revelation.

“Every day faith is increased in the hearts of the faithful by evidences of revelation in their lives—in decisions regarding marriage, vocations, home concerns, business ventures, lesson preparations, danger signals—in fact, in all facets of life.

“Every Latter-day Saint may know by the spirit of revelation that President Joseph Fielding Smith spoke the truth when he said: ‘The Lord not only blesses the men who stand at the head and hold the keys of the kingdom, but he also blesses every faithful individual with the spirit of inspiration’ ” (Roy W. Doxey, Walk with the Lord [1973], 173–74; emphasis in original).

Who is the prophet of the world today?

I testify that the prophet upon the face of the earth today is Gordon B. Hinckley, who serves as the President of the Church. He is the only person who holds all of the keys of the kingdom of God on earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s Church upon the earth, and salvation in God’s presence requires acceptance of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in His Church.

Why has the Church grown so dramatically over more than 170 years? Why does it continue to grow at an ever-increasing pace? It does so in large measure because of divine revelation and inspiration.

I pray that we may so live as to enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost, for the Holy Ghost, under the direction of Almighty God, has led this people and their leaders from the Church’s humble beginnings to the great spiritual force it is today.

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Opening Our Hearts - Opening Our Hearts

Elder Gerald N. Lund

Of the Seventy

Let us make it a part of our everyday striving to open our hearts to the Spirit.

Today I should like to speak on the importance of opening our hearts to the Holy Spirit.

After baptism we are confirmed and given the Holy Ghost. This is a supernal gift. The Holy Ghost comforts, teaches, warns, enlightens, and inspires us. Nephi put it very simply: “If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.”1 We need the help of the Holy Ghost if we are to make our way safely through what the Apostle Paul called the “perilous times”2 in which we now live.

The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, which allows Him to dwell in our hearts and communicate directly with our spirits.3 The voice of the Spirit is described as still and small and one that whispers.4 How can a voice be still? Why is it likened to a whisper? Because the Spirit almost always speaks to our minds and to our hearts5 rather than to our ears. President Boyd K. Packer has said, “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear.”6

We feel things in our hearts. In the scriptures, the prophets teach that personal revelation is closely linked to the heart. For example:

Mormon taught, “Because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost.”7

Alma said, “He that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word.”8

Mormon wrote of the Nephites, “[Their souls were filled] with joy and consolation . . . because of their yielding their hearts unto God.”9

And then the Psalmist simply wrote, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart.”10

Isn’t that something we all seek, brothers and sisters—to be visited by the Holy Ghost, to have the Lord draw closer to us, to find joy and consolation in our lives? If so, then carefully assessing the condition of our hearts is one of the most essential things we can do in this life.

The heart is a tender place. It is sensitive to many influences, both positive and negative. It can be hurt by others. It can be deadened by sin. It can be softened by love. Early in our lives, we learn to guard our hearts. It is like we erect a fence around our hearts with a gate in it. No one can enter that gate unless we allow him or her to.

In some cases the fence we erect around our hearts could be likened to a small picket fence with a Welcome sign on the gate. Other hearts have been so hurt or so deadened by sin that they have an eight-foot (2.5-m) chain-link fence topped with razor wire around them. The gate is padlocked and has a large No Trespassing sign on it.

Let us apply the idea of a gateway to the heart to receiving personal revelation. Nephi taught, “When a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.”11 Elder David A. Bednar noted the use of the word unto: “Please notice how the power of the Spirit carries the message unto but not necessarily into the heart. . . . Ultimately, . . . the content of a message and the witness of the Holy Ghost penetrate into the heart only if a receiver allows them to enter.”12

Why just unto the heart? Individual agency is so sacred that Heavenly Father will never force the human heart, even with all His infinite power. Man may try to do so, but God does not. To put it another way, God allows us to be the guardians, or the gatekeepers, of our own hearts.We must, of our own free will, open our hearts to the Spirit, for He will not force Himself upon us.

So how do we open our hearts?

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”13 If something is pure, it is not polluted or tainted by things which do not belong to it. Purity of heart is certainly one of the most important qualifications for receiving inspiration from God. While none of our hearts are perfect, the more diligently we strive to eliminate impurity, or push out things which do not belong there, the more we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. Note this sweet promise of the prophet Jacob: “O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love.”14

While in Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation that describes a condition of some hearts:

“Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

“Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men.”15

Many in the world now live in prosperous and peaceful circumstances. In the Book of Mormon, prosperity often led the people away from the Lord. Mormon warned, “We may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art . . . , then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God.”16

The Lord noted three natural consequences of having one’s heart set on the things of the world: First, we seek to hide our sins instead of repenting of them. Next, we seek to gratify our pride and vain ambitions rather than seeking the things of God. Finally, we begin to exercise unrighteous dominion over others.17

Note that pride is a natural consequence of setting our hearts on the things of the world. Pride quickly desensitizes our hearts to spiritual promptings. For example, the Lord said, “I, the Lord, am not pleased with my servant Sidney Rigdon; he exalted himself in his heart, and received not counsel, but grieved the Spirit.”18 Compare that to this promise: “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.”19

In the Liberty Jail revelation, the Lord described the effect of a worldly heart: “Behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and . . . behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself.”20 Brothers and sisters, in these very “perilous times,” we cannot afford to grieve the Spirit and be left to ourselves.

I say again, the condition of our hearts directly affects our sensitivity to spiritual things. Let us make it a part of our everyday striving to open our hearts to the Spirit. Since we are the guardians of our hearts, we can choose to do so. We choose what we let in or hold out. Fortunately the Lord is anxious to help us choose wisely.

I close in testimony with two of the promises He has made to those who seek to come unto Him: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with [His] love, . . . that we may be purified even as he is pure.”21

And finally this stirring declaration of Paul the Apostle: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”22

May we ever ask Christ to strengthen our hearts and fill them with His love is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

NOTES

1. 2 Nephi 32:5.

2. 2 Timothy 3:1.

3. See D&C 8:2.

4. See D&C 85:6.

5. See D&C 8:2.

6. “Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Liahona, June 1997, 10; Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60.

7. Moroni 8:26.

8. Alma 12:10.

9. Helaman 3:35.

10. Psalm 34:18.

11. 2 Nephi 33:1; emphasis added.

12. “Seek Learning by Faith,” Liahona, Sept. 2007, 17; Ensign, Sept. 2007, 61.

13. Matthew 5:8.

14. Jacob 3:2.

15. D&C 121:34–35.

16. Helaman 12:2.

17. See D&C 121:36–37.

18. D&C 63:55.

19. D&C 112:10.

20. D&C 121:37–38.

21. Moroni 7:48.

22. Philippians 4:13.

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